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The Mask (1961)

Approved | | Horror, Thriller | 1 November 1961 (USA)
A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. ... See full summary »

Director:

Julian Roffman

Writers:

Frank Taubes (script by), Sandy Haver (script by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Stevens ... Doctor Allan Barnes
Claudette Nevins ... Pam Albright
Bill Walker Bill Walker ... Lieutenant Martin
Anne Collings Anne Collings ... Miss Goodrich
Martin Lavut Martin Lavut ... Michael Radin
Leo Leyden ... Doctor Soames
Norman Ettlinger Norman Ettlinger ... Professor Quincey
W.B. Brydon W.B. Brydon ... Anderson (as Bill Bryden)
Jim Moran Jim Moran ... Jim Moran
Eleanor Beecroft Eleanor Beecroft ... Mrs. Kelly
Ray Lawlor Ray Lawlor ... Lab technician
Rudi Linschoten Rudi Linschoten ... Mime in nightmare
Stephen Ker Appleby Stephen Ker Appleby ... Museum guide (as Steven Appleby)
Alfie Scopp Alfie Scopp
Paul Elsom Paul Elsom
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Storyline

A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The management is not responsible for nervous breakdowns! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face of Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (3-D sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a piece on the film in "Filmfax" (issue #25), Slavko Vorkapich's ideas for the 3-D sequences were ultimately too expensive to be used, and director Julian Roffman did much of the conceptual work himself. Vorkapich's name remained in the credits because of a "pay or play" option in his contract. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Barnes runs past the museum display cases, a crew member's reflection is visible in the glass. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Allan Barnes: I must. I must experience the greatest act of a human mind: to take another life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nightmare in Canada: Canadian Horror on Film (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful film
26 May 2005 | by tristanb-1See all my reviews

Wonderful movie. First I have seen from this time period (aside from "The Incredible Shrinking Man") that actually scared me.

A psychiatrist gets addicted to an alternate reality that can be entered by putting on an ancient mask. Trouble is it slowly renders the wearer insane.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the majority of viewers here who say the non-3-d sequences are dull. I found them entertaining and well acted. The whole thing can certainly be read as a metaphor for drug use.

The actual 3-D isn't that great (it isn't like things are thrust out at the viewer). It looks more vaguely 3-D. But the sequences themselves are fascinating and weird and demand repeated viewings.

I think the really striking aspect of this film is the sound design. It truly was ahead of its time. I can't think of another film that makes such mesmerizing, hypnotic use of sound design. I'd be curious to know how they did it.

Sounds are slowed down to a throbbing groan, echoes reverberate in and out and a sonic thumping pounds every time someone gets ready to put on the mask. Just listen to the voice-over when the suicide note is read (doctor's patient).

I love it. Watch it. I watched scenes again and again after my first viewing.


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